With its location on the rugged Isle of Skye and its distinctively maritime flavours, it’s no wonder that Talisker is closely associated with the wild ocean it overlooks - something it seeks to celebrate and preserve through its every action. Whether it’s the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a gruelling annual rowing race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to English Harbour in Antigua, Rewild our Seas, a partnership with Parley for the Oceans designed to protect huge swathes of imperilled marine life, or its new Talisker Xpedition Oak – the distillery’s oldest single malt ever bottled, Talisker is consistently demonstrating that it is made by the sea
Talisker has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a forum for discussion and collaboration on solving environmental issues, on a three-year project that seeks to restore and protect underwater forests on coastlines.
The project will start with the coastline around the Talisker distillery on Skye, focusing on preserving the kelp forests therein which not only buffer the coastline from ocean storms, but are also so crucial to regulating the water’s pH, harbouring microorganisms, sequestering carbon dioxide and housing and nourishing marine life.
From there the project will expand to collaborate with non-profit organisations across the world on preserving 100 million square metres of marine ecosystems by 2023. This will involve providing research grants, conducting research expeditions and introducing initiatives which raise further funds for this important cause.
To create Xpedition Oak, Talisker sent some barrel staves off on a trans-Atlantic journey with adventurer James Aiken, who single-handedly followed the same route travelled by the teams in Talisker’s 3264-mile rowing challenge. These staves were then inserted into 10 casks of whisky aged for more than four decades, creating a unique finishing process that further infused the whisky with the spirit of the sea. Each bottle – of which there are 1830 in homage to the foundation date of the distillery – is packaged with a piece of these staves.
Mellow overall and slightly spicy, with a fruity top note of bruised apple and smooth, aromatic hint of wax. Beneath these scents lie intriguing rich layers of aroma; notes of canvas and varnished wood mingle with maritime hints of sea-air and warm sand, all swirling above a faintly smoky and waxy base.
A smooth texture and a vibrant, juicy start introduce a sweet, rich intensity with a fresh, balancing splash of ocean salt spray. The effect becomes lightly drying before Talisker’s peppery warmth envelops the palate. Mesmerising overall, it cascades with smooth, rich flavour and is excellent to drink neat.
Wonderfully long, with a considerable sweet chili-pepper warmth that suffuses the whole palate.
Founded in 1830, Talisker is one of the best-known whisky distilleries in Scotland. Part of Diageo's Classic Malts series, it is one of the company's most important brands, famed for its intense, smoky and peppery style.
There have been a number of new releases over the past few years, but the 10 Year Old remains a benchmark among Scottish single malts.
Talisker 10 Year Old Dry Bag Gift Set
(£72.79 per litre)
Talisker 2010 Distillers EditionBot.2020
(£85.64 per litre)
(£59.93 per litre)
Talisker 18 Year Old
Out Of Stock
Talisker Port RuighePort Finish
(£71.36 per litre)
(£55.64 per litre)